SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in partnership with the City of Springfield and the Springfield Sister Cities Association, rededicates the 27-year-old Azumaya structure Friday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m., at Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, part of Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave.
The Azumaya is a traditional Japanese gazebo and waterwheel, built entirely from wood. The structure was a gift from Springfield’s sister city, Isesaki, Japan, in 1995. A team of carpenters in Isesaki designed the Azumaya, shipped rough cut pieces to Springfield, then spent a week in September 1995 building the structure, using traditional Japanese hand tools.
For nearly 27 years, the Azumaya stood on the City of Springfield’s downtown government plaza, between the Old City Hall and the Busch Building. Earlier this year, the City and the Park Board decided it was time to relocate the Azumaya to a quieter spot, where more people could enjoy it.
With assistance from Carson-Mitchell, Inc., Conco Companies and Carpenters Local #978, the Azumaya has been relocated and restored, just outside the entrance of Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. The 7.5-acre garden features traditional Japanese landscaping and structures and also shares a long partnership with the City of Isesaki.
The Azumaya will be rededicated at its new location, with a delegation from Isesaki in attendance. The ceremony serves as a kick-off to the 26th Annual Japanese Fall Festival, a three-day celebration of Japanese culture at Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, presented by the Springfield Sister Cities Association, in partnership with the Park Board. The festival opens Friday at 5 p.m.
For more information about Springfield’s relationship with Isesaki or the Japanese Fall Festival, contact Lisa Bakerink, executive director of Springfield Sister Cities Association, at 417-874-2952.
For more information about the rededication, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).